(By Gerry Wang)
PRINCE OF EGYPT
(Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Patrick Stewart, Michelle
Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum)
by Gerry Wang
_____Wow. That one word
summarizes my entire reaction to the PRINCE OF EGYPT.
Well, "wow" and "Oh my God!" But
after seeing this movie, we'll be a little more hesitant
to take God's name in vain because boy, He sure knows how
to inflict His will.
PRINCE OF EGYPT was an experience, not just a typical
movie outing. Therefore I will recount my entire evening
endeavor, so you can see how profound an effect this epic
masterpiece had on me.
_____It was a normal
dinner & movie type of ordeal. It was my birthday, so
I got all dressed up and went to a nice French restaurant
called Cafe Beaujoulais. Here is my J. Peterman rant,
which will describe my wardrobe and setting:
_____You are cold. The
wind gusts around your temples, but you squint and ignore
it. As you walk down the sidewalk, an exotic ambience
fills the atmosphere. The cold vanishes. You have arrived
at your quaint French cafe. You marvel at its chic. You
glance down and notice your London Fog trench coat. Yes.
The cashmere lining, which you have measured at
approximately 5 pounds has done its job. Your face fills
with warmth as you enter the cafe. You remove your London
Fog trench coat and expose your lightly tanned Yves St.
Laurent dress shirt. On top is a grey window pane Banana
Republic vest. You look expensive. But little do people
know, it was very cheap to assemble..........
STOP IT GERRY! YOU'RE SUCH A FAG!
_____Ok, ok. No more
rant. I apologize. I am slightly buzzed. Heh heh. Don't
even get me started talking like a Jedi Master.....
_____Back to my dinner.
This sets up my entire mood for watching the movie. I had
escargot, which are snails, and that wasn't too pleasant.
I suppose eating mollusks is an acquired taste. So be it.
Then I had baked rabbit. It literally tasted like
chicken. But as I thought of what I was eating, I thought
to myself, "Trix are for kids!" and I was
immediately repulsed by the prospect of eating a bunny.
It didn't help that my other guest(s) was/were eating
shit like lamb. Monsters!
was very expensive. I didn't pay, but damn I don't like
overpaying for food. If you think about it, it is such a
waste of money. You can cook better food at home cheaper
if you just spend some time learning recipes. That's why
I watch Martha Stewart every day. That woman is a genius.
Oh gosh, my head hurts. I can't have a single straight
_____You know what? I
will go to sleep now and finish this review tomorrow. Let
this be a lesson to you young uns. Don't drink and type
coherent things. It's damn near impossible. Good night.
PRINCE OF EGYPT Review (cont.)
_____I get to the
theater half an hour early. I relieve my yearning to
deposit liquid waste. But I am still too early. I refuse
to purchase overpriced concessions. Who in their right
mind would pay 3.50 for a medium watered-down beverage??
It's preposterous, I say. I was in a foul mood, as you
can see. I was dressed uncomfortably, dinner was only
mediocre, plus it was raining. But the one thing that
really ticked me off was that no one in my party wanted
to watch the PRINCE OF EGYPT. They wanted to watch crud
like PSYCHO. Since it is my birthday, I exercise the
Executive Privilege of Movie Watching and force everyone
to watch the PRINCE OF EGYPT. Heh heh.
"It's my party
I could cry if I want to
Cry if I want to x2
You would cry too if it happened to you!!!"
_____--- Oldies song
_____I am still
hammered. Wait a little while. I will sober up.
_____Back to the movie
theater. Since we are so early, we catch a little bit of
YOU'VE GOT MAIL on a 60 ft. screen. This wasn't such a
good thing, because we sat at the side, and it distorted
Meg Ryan & Tom Hanks' faces so much that they
resembled Sloth in GOONIES. Quasimodo too. Sick. I used
to think Meg Ryan was a cutie, but after seeing her face
all juxtaposed, she gets bumped down a few notches.
_____We finally get to
the PRINCE OF EGYPT. I am very hyped up. Not only did I
want to see this movie real bad, I also wanted to prove
to the people in my party that this movie really wasn't a
friggin remake of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. Idiots, I swear.
_____The movie starts.
I instantly hushed everybody's stupid ass up. The
trailers show, but they were all lame except for Disney's
TARZAN. Wow, the animation looks good. 3D/2D blending.
Tarzan zips through the trees at a rapid pace and fights
every sort of predatorial animal you can think of.
Coooooool. TARZAN comes out Summer 1999, I think.
now............ the PRINCE OF EGYPT.
_____Nothing you have
ever seen will prepare you for what you see in the PRINCE
OF EGYPT. You will forget that you are watching a
cartoon. It will feel like you are just watching a
regular movie, except that this one is absolutely
extraordinary. The special effects will make your jaw hit
the urine-soaked floor. The emotion will crush your rib
cage. The music will induce tears to flow from your tear
sacs. The PRINCE OF EGYPT was that powerful.
_____I'm sure you are
all familiar with the tale of Moses leading the Hebrews
from Egypt. I wasn't, because I'm a heathen bastard. So
for all you other heretics and pagans, I will recap that
tale for you a little later on. I will now break down the
PRINCE OF EGYPT, so I can specify why this movie
deservese an Oscar nomination for Best Picture.
CHARACTERS: The animators did an excellent job with all
of their characters' emotions. We truly believe these
people are alive, that they feel the same emotion as we
* Moses- We particularly sympathize w/ Moses, a powerful
character in terms of conveying his anguish and agony at
the decisions he has to make. When he breaks down and
sobs at the prospect of his task. We feel his
bewilderment when God speaks to him. We feel his pain at
separating from his brother. Excellently voiced by Val
* Ramses- Moses' brother starts off as a regular sibling
rival, that eventually becomes the villain of the movie
as he becomes Pharoah of Egypt. Ralph Fiennes does an
excellent portrayal of a man torn between love for his
brother and the duty to continue his family dynasty and
be a great ruler to his people.
* GOD- He has a MIGHTY presence in this film. We see that
He is a wrathful and vengeful God who demands obedience
and faith. God was originally intended to have
synthesized voice that was androgynous, that is, w/o a
sex, but it ended up sounding like Hal from 2001: Space
Odyssey, so Val Kilmer stepped in again. I woulda liked
to see James Earl Jones do his booming voice as God. Val
Kilmer's God sounded too Mr. Rodgers-ish. But
nevertheless, we feel the Almighty. His force courses
throughout the entire movie.
SPECIAL EFFECTS: The special effects in the PRINCE OF
EGYPT were absolutely motherfreakin spectacular. It
really reminded me of the Japanese anime special effects.
Except there are no robots and the special effects here
are more polished. Pay attention particularly to the
miracles done by God. Such as the plague visiting Egypt
and smiting all first borns. The burning bush revealing
God to Moses. The chariot race. The Nile turning into
blood.....But above all, the majestic Parting of the Red
Sea scene, which will absolutely astonish you with its
brilliant animation and power. It really looks like
water. I was petrified in my seat.
CINEMATOGRAPHY: When you see the animation in this movie,
you will just be like "Holy Shit!" Because it
looks like more effort was put into this movie that any
of Disney's past lamo products. Just look at the opening
scene of the billowing clouds and you'll know. Look at
the landmarks-- the pyramids, temples, and statues of
Egypt. Look at how the Nile flows. You can almost reach
down and feel the water. It is breathtaking. The
animators were inspired by Monet and other Impressionist
painters, and we can see their influence on this film. It
gives the PRINCE OF EGYPT a surreal feel, kinda like
we're in another universe. Ancient Egypt never looked
more beautiful or gorgeous. It
EPIC PLOT: The story of redemption and the genesis of the
Christian faith is one we all should know. Regardless of
whether it is really true or not. I don't want to get
into that. People get very sensitive regarding it. But
the message of obeying God is what we all will take out
of watching the PRINCE OF EGYPT, no matter what our
religious beliefs are. This is the tale of Moses, a
Hebrew who was adopted by the Royal Family of the Pharoah
of Egypt. The Hebrews have long been persecuted and
enslaved by the Egyptians. Moses and Ramses, the his
brother and also the future Pharaoh have a special bond.
They truly love each other as brothers. However, when
Moses learns his heritage is really of the slave people,
he feels an obligation to end the oppression. But he is
reluctant. It was when God speaks to Moses that Moses
finally realized his destiny, and the rest is history.
This story of finding inner strength and self-sacrifice
is truly is the greatest story ever told.
MUSIC: Right from the start we can tell the music in the
PRINCE OF EGYPT is special. It starts w/ "The
River" or something like that, but the point is that
it is sung by Moses' birth mother, and she is abandoning
her son to let him escape the persecution of the
Egyptians. The song is very heart-rendering. When Moses'
mother cries, so do we. We feel her loss. At the end,
"When You Believe" is sung, as the Hebrews are
triumphant in their Exodus from Egypt, and part of the
song is sung in Hebrew. So there is an authentic feel of
jubilation as well feel the same exultation as the freed
slaves. Stephen Schwartz and Hans Zimmer (I think) have
wrapped up another Oscar for their score and songs.
GOING AGAINST THE MAINSTREAM: For those of you who think
this is just another stupid Disney film, you are wrong.
* There are no furry, cuddly, talking animals. Damn those
stupid furry animals are so annoying. Like those little
creatures in TEST-I-CLEES. Or better known as HERCULES.
* There is more tragedy and emotional wollop in
Dreamworks' the PRINCE OF EGYPT. They never tone anything
down like how Disney does. Quasimodo dies in the in
Hugo's book. In THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME, that ogre
lives happily ever after. Blasphemous, yet formulaic for
Disney. In the PRINCE OF EGYPT, there is aplenty of
death. Moses himself pushes a Egyptian slave driver off a
400-ft high platform to his crunchy death. Babies are
killed by the plague. Soldiers are drowned. Hebrew slaves
are whipped until scarred. This is a tragic movie with a
sensitive subject, and we must applaud Jeffrey Katzenberg
for having the balls to do an adult animated motion
* Dreamworks also didn't market this movie like crazy.
There are no Moses Happy Meals. No PRINCE OF EGYPT
Halloween masks. No PRINCE OF EGYPT condoms. Nothing like
how Disney markets their movies. Look at all this A BUG'S
LIFE merchandise. C'mon, you're telling me a 3 year old
would want a praying mantis for Christmas? Yet people buy
it, and HUUUUGE revenues are made. Dreamworks is looking
at a potential financial loss with this movie.
* I must also send a plea out to all you filmgoers. I
really, really resent Disney's cutthroat tactics. They
purposefully lured people to watch A BUG'S LIFE again by
packaging MIGHTY JOE YOUNG for free with it, in addition
to new outtakes from A BUG'S LIFE. Don't let Disney's
squish the competition so easily. It has a monopoly on
the animated film market, and we all know that ain't good
news. Disney tried to kill Fox's ANASTASIA by doing
something retarded like re-releasing LITTLE MERMAID. And
it partially worked. Don't let this happen to PRINCE OF
EGYPT. It is too important a movie to bomb.
_____This is getting
long, so I will now conclude my monumental review. I want
to urge all you people out there to watch the PRINCE OF
EGYPT. Not only is its story one that should be a part of
our lives, it represents the next step in animation. It
is the forerunner of mixing traditional animation and
computer genereated graphics to produce a solid,
congruous epic. It raises the bar of standards.
Competition for Disney will only force it to churn out
better products, and this is good for all of us
consumers. Makes sense right? So go watch PRINCE OF EGYPT
and drag all the young kids to it. At the scarier scenes,
explain to them what God's intentions are. Then, after
the movie, sit down and have a discussion about what you
all learned. Talk about God's miracles..... You will
*See 9/29/'98 video pick of the week #1 for